This summer 12 Girl Scout
Cadettes, Seniors & Ambassadors traveled across the country to explore the
American Southwest with Girl Scout staff and volunteers. They visited five
states, six National Parks, hiked 30 miles, slept at five different campsites
and made countless memories and overcame obstacles. Read how Hayley overcame
her own personal challenge on the trip!
June 1st through June 8th I went on a Southwest excursion
where we went to national parks in each state of Colorado, Arizona, Utah, and
New Mexico. We went on multiple hikes that had few challenges along the way but
were very worth it. As we saw what I would say is some of the most beautiful
sites in my life.
One of my favorite sites I got to see was at Arches
National Park, were we got the opportunity to see Delicate Arch. I was told
that it was a hard hike but had the most beautiful site and so I took the
challenge because not only did I want to see the site but I wanted to be able
to say I made the hike. However it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be for
the hike was long and was basically made up of an uphill that was huge. When we
had started I was trying to motivate myself but I’m not going to lie it was
kind of hard for I felt I couldn’t breathe. It made sense because I have asthma
so that didn’t make things any easier, but I still really tried to make it but
I just couldn’t. I got up a little of the uphill until I told myself I couldn’t
do it. I had felt hopeless as I saw the other girls in the group walk up the
hill because I knew they were much better than me. As I sat there watching
everyone walk past a girl name Adele sat near me she also had challenges. I
almost felt a little comfort because I guess it wasn’t just me that was alone
facing a challenge.
My group leader M.C. was talking to me. It was pretty much
small talk at first but then she started motivating me and Adele she actually
believed we could do it. It was inspiring to see that she actually had belief
So we decided as a small group to keep going and face every
challenge not alone but together. So we set goals for ourselves as we would go
to whatever we thought was a good place to stop and take a break, but with that
we would go to shrubs or cracks in the canyon and name those things as we took
a break. We thought it was a fun way to waste time and to my shock once I knew
it we were already over the huge hill I thought was impossible to get up. I was
proud of myself I was just so happy I could do it, it’s a great accomplishment
We passed the other group that had gone up before us as they
were going down and that’s when I finally got it realize I can do it and it’s
not a matter of who’s better than who cause we all only go at our own pace.
When we finally got to delicate arch I was so excited and I finally gained a
little reassurance in myself. So if it wasn’t for M.C or Adele I don’t think I
would of made it so I’m so glad we were all there.
This hike overall means so much to me for it was teamwork
that made it work. It was so worth it because of the challenges that made it so
I guess exciting and then when you finally get to your destination you feel
great. I just want to thank everyone on that trip because I got to experience
things beyond this world and it was amazing. I would 10/10 do this all over
again cause that’s just how worth it, it was.
Our next Outdoor
Excursion is to Rocky Mountain National Park from July 26 – August 1, 2020 and
registration will open in October. Don’t miss the chance to overcome your own
personal obstacles and feel on top of the world!
Joy Wheeler, CEO, Girl Scouts of NE Kansas and NW Missouri
time for the Girl Scouts to put a stake in the ground. That stake marks a
future where girls and women – who represent 51% of our population – become the
solution to the serious workforce challenges that are weighing down our
economy. A future where the gender gaps in pay, socioeconomic status, funding
and power no longer exist.
probably realize that we’re pretty far from that future right now. But I want
you to know today that the Girl Scouts are driving us there. We’re preparing
Kindergarten – 12th-grade girls for a lifetime of leadership and
workforce impact. And we need your help to succeed. We need you to join us in
Standing Up for G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders).
Imagine an equitable
Take a few minutes and imagine with
me what is possible. Picture a world where the United States is the definitive
leader in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) – precisely because
we have learned to harness the power of all people to lead in those jobs,
regardless of gender. Consider how your business could excel if you had access
to a complete, well-trained and flexible pipeline of workers at all times. What
would it be like if Capitol Hill, our board rooms and our leadership teams
reflected the gender balance of our adult population?
just think about the possibilities for our country if every child had the
opportunity to succeed. What would happen if girls had the same socioeconomic,
mental and physical health status as boys? And how would it affect our economy
and our social programs if women received the same pay as men doing similar
would like that, wouldn’t you? I mean, who wouldn’t?
We have a long way to
go There’s no disputing we are
quite far from achieving that vision of the future. And it seems like we’re
actually going backward right now. The U.S. can’t fill the increasing demand
for STEM workers – not with men and not with women. And is it any wonder? We
know that more than 80 percent of young girls are interested in STEM jobs, but
only 13 percent push through the gender bias and pursue this career path. The
Smithsonian estimated that 2.4 million STEM jobs would go unfilled last year.
women are hugely under-represented in government: Around a quarter of state and
federal legislators are women. Women hold only 20 percent of corporate board seats.
And only 6 percent of CEOs are female.
that level of representation, is it any wonder that the health and
socioeconomic status of girls is lagging, too? Sadly, our Girl Scout research
tells us more girls are living in poverty today than they were 10 years ago. And at the current rate of change, the
gender pay gap – with women earning just 80 cents for every dollar made by men
– isn’t expected to close for another 90 years. Fully two-thirds of minimum wage
jobs in the U.S. are held by women.
can get us there Clearly, women can be the solution to these social and economic gaps.
And Girl Scouts are a key contributor to the 51% solution. The Girl Scouts
bring 100+ years of experience and a research-based approach to providing
topnotch, innovative programming in financial literacy, STEM, healthy living,
environmental stewardship and global citizenship, delivered in the way girls
learn best. We are preparing girls for a lifetime of leadership – ensuring
women have a voice in all settings that is commensurate with their 51% stake.
Our programs connect girls with
female role models in their communities. They immerse young women in a wide variety of opportunities and
experiences so they can pursue their full potential. And they challenge girls
to the highest standard of achievement through the Gold Award.
The path of a young girl to teenager largely
defines the path of the next generation. Will she become a pregnant teenager,
leading to a lack of education, hopelessness and economic instability? Or will
she become a woman who is supported and nurtured to have the courage and confidence
that comes from enriched experiences and education? A woman who knows her worth
and is prepared to reject domestic violence and pursue equity? By changing a
girl’s confidence to pursue opportunities and reach her full potential, we decrease
the demand for social and rehabilitative services. We drive more leadership for
female equality, representation and inclusion. In short, we expand the
potential for success among everyone in our society – all genders, all ages,
all socioeconomic strata.
learning is the right thing to do So let’s address the
elephant in the room – the Boy Scouts’ attempt to add girls to their
programming. On the surface it sounds kind and equitable, right? We should
allow girls to have the same experiences as boys. But let’s be real for a
moment. Most of us can agree that boys and girls are different. While they
deserve equitable opportunities, pursuing those together doesn’t always make
Our research bears this out. Girls who attend single-gender schools
have measurably higher academic success. Did you know a girl will generally
lose 30 percent of her confidence between age 8 and 14? The single-gender
learning environment provided by the Girl Scouts gives her a safe space to
explore, step out of her comfort zone, take risks and become a leader. Her courage,
confidence and character grow as she pursues outdoor adventure,
entrepreneurship, STEM and civic engagement activities.
are THE KEY to increasing STEM staffing and leadership Here again, research
underscores the role of the Girl Scouts in helping girls lead the way. Among
female tech leaders, an astonishing 80 percent are Girl Scouts. Girl Scouts are
twice as likely to be interested in STEM careers. That’s why Girl Scouting
provides STEM programming to girls from kindergarten to age 18. We are
committed to adding 2.5 million girls to the STEM pipeline by 2025.
are more successful overall It’s not just about
STEM, though. The Girl Scouting program produces concrete outcomes in almost
every measure of success. If you’re a Girl Scout:
sense of self, community involvement and confidence in the future is going up
during middle school, while your peers are declining in confidence.
are twice as likely to have a bachelor’s degree.
earn 23 percent more than other women.
more likely to engage in a variety of fun and challenging activities, have
supportive relationships and be an active learner.
Adding to that, if you’re a Gold Award Girl Scout –
representing five percent of the 50 million alums in the U.S. – you’re more
successful, engaged and happy as a worker. And you have more positive life
outcomes – measured by volunteerism, community and civic engagement, education
level and socioeconomic status.
fuels civic and business leadership If you’re wondering
whether Girl Scouts make a meaningful difference in achieving that future we
discussed earlier, consider this: In 2018, 58 percent of women elected to
Congress were Girl Scouts, and nearly three-quarters of women in the Senate are
alums. Five of the current nine female state governors are Girl Scouts. And
every female secretary of state has been a Girl Scout. It’s clear that Girl
Scouts builds leaders who make a lasting impact on their communities.
Girl Scouts are well represented in business, too, with 66
percent of professional women and more than half of female entrepreneurs and
business owners being alums. And you thought it was all about cookies!
The power of Girl Scouts goes beyond skill-building I’d like to share a story with you that helps illustrate the tremendous impact our program can have on a girl’s life. Paige Taylor has experienced mental illness in her family and has been struggling with depression and anxiety herself since age 10. The high school senior from Lansing, Kansas, has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten. She calls her girl squad her “safe place” to share and says her sister Girl Scouts are her real sisters. The confidence Paige has gained through Girl Scouts has allowed her to achieve a level of successshe otherwise wouldn’t have dreamed of. She recently completed her Gold Award, where she bravely shared her personal story, opened a door for other teens to share their stories, got school officials to acknowledge the statistics and add more resources, and stood with the Kansas governor who signed a state-wide proclamation. Paige plans to pursue sports psychology and counseling when she attends college next fall. When we asked what gave her the courage and confidence to break away from the stigma and challenges of mental illness, Paige gave Girl Scouts the credit: “Without Girl Scouts, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I know my voice matters and I’m empowered to continue to use it as I pursue my dreams.” Now, that’s the kind of difference we can make!
support is critical right now The value of Girl
Scouts and the essential role of our contributions to solving these issues is
clear. Now, more than ever, we need your help – your money, your influence and
Funding: Cookie sales make the Girl Scout experience memorable. The program
supports girls to grow their financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills as
it builds their confidence. But how many other organizations require their
beneficiaries to fund their own services by the sweat of their brows? We need
your private funding, too. Based on the latest reports available, Girl Scouts received
just half the private funding of Boy Scouts, while serving approximately the
same number of youth.
Influence: We’re asking you to talk about the Girl Scouts. Use your connections to
bring us to the table to represent girls and all the potential they bring to
EVERY discussion about workforce development, economic equality and diversity.
Daily Advocacy: We are asking you to use your power to advocate for girls
and women everywhere. If you’ve participated in Girl Scouts or have Girl Scouts
in your family, you ARE Girl Scouts! Yes, gentlemen, even you. Are you Man Enough
to be a Girl Scout? We want you to wear the Girl Scout identity and do things
like follow and share the powerful stories of our Girl Scouts locally and
The only way we’re going to bring this solution to life is by
proactively championing girls and women in our everyday lives – giving them a
seat at the table and Standing up for G.I.R.L.s. Advocating isn’t enough – we need you to be
their champions – when they’re in the room and when they’re not. Because there’s
something missing today – that’s the other 51%. None of us is as powerful as
all of us!
Girl Scout leaders are inspirations for the girls in their
troops and create a lifetime of memories. For Karen Ebert, and all the girls in
her troop, that inspirational leader was Lela Mae Knipp. Not only was Lela Mae
a fantastic troop leader who pushed the girls to be the very best versions of
themselves, she stayed involved in Girl Scouting for more than 60 years! Karen
was a Girl Scout in the early 1960s, a time when women were not always
encouraged to dream big about their careers – but Lela Mae gave them that
confidence through Girl Scouting! This lasting legacy of service and supporting
generations of girls inspired Karen to do something incredible – invest in the
future of girls in Lela Mae’s name.
For Karen Ebert, creating a fund for Girl Scouts that will
leave a legacy was the best way to honor Lela Mae. “I believe leaving a legacy
is important. As a Girl Scout alum, I wanted to give back to the organization
that meant so much to me,” Karen says. To honor Lela Mae’s 60 years of
volunteer service, Karen set-up the Lela Mae Girl Scout Adventure Fund in 2018
at the West Region Volunteer Celebration. This fund will provide financial
support to girls in Westmoreland and throughout Pottawatomie and Wabaunsee
Counties so they experience incredible adventures in Girl Scouting.
As a girl, Karen remembers Lela Mae’s generosity and the
courage she instilled in her. “To Lela Mae, every girl was unique and special,”
Karen said. One memory Karen has of this generosity happened when she was
selling cookies to raise money for camp. “I took my money from my cookie sales
to Lela Mae, and she said to me ‘oh you are so close, but you are short $14.’
My heart sank and I know she saw that. Later that night, she called to say she
‘miscounted’ and I had just enough to
go to camp. I will always think she had something to do with me having ‘just
enough,’” Karen said.
With all these amazing memories and life skills that Karen
learned from Girl Scouting, she wanted to make sure today’s girls have access
to the same opportunities she did. “If people look back at the experience they
have in Girl Scouting, I think they would want every girl to have that
experience. As adults, I hope we all want to give to the future,” Karen said.
Thank you, Karen, for investing and honoring Lela Mae!
In March 2019, Lela
Mae celebrated her 95th birthday, and Karen Ebert and the Knipp
family created a shower of gifts to help local Girl Scouts by donating to the
fund, and you can still make a gift as well! A gift of any size to the Lela
Mae Girl Scout Adventure Fund in honor of her birthday can be made by via www.gsksmo.org/donate. Thank you to
Karen Ebert for establishing this fund to honor an amazing Girl Scout!
truly inspiring day we had on April 7 at the Overland Park Convention Center!
Girl Scouts, volunteers, alums and supporters joined us to celebrate our 47
Gold Award Girl Scouts!
young women have made an extraordinary impact on their communities through the
Gold Award. Each Girl Scout completed a Take Action project with a minimum of 85
hours in planning and implementation. They have created lasting change through sustainable
projects and their impact will be felt for years to come. Their Take
Action projects included educating youth to vote, building a vegetable garden
for families with food insecurity, education programs on mental health and music
programs for students with special needs, just to name a few. Read about all of their projects
2019 Gold Award Girl Scouts
kicked off the day with a special breakfast for Gold Award Girl Scouts and
program investors, hosted by GSKSMO CEO Joy Wheeler. Each Gold Award Girl Scout received her very
own Kendra Scott necklace, courtesy of GSKSMO board members and Kendra Scott.
encourage Girl Scouts to take action, inspire others and change the world, they
visited a combination of Community Partner and GSKSMO Program booths, to
collect focus area stickers, building the foundation of their path to Gold! Activities
included “Throw like a G.I.R.L.” where Girl Scouts mastered the bullseye with
Blade & Timber Axe Throwing, decorating enrichment items for the animals at
the Kansas City Zoo, seeing how liquid nitrogen acts as a cooling agent with
Honeywell and learning the power of code with Microsoft! Upstairs Girl Scouts
visited Bronze and Silver Award Girl Scouts, collecting their respective sticker!
They completed their activity card by visiting with at least four Gold
Award Girl Scouts and earned their Inspire a Girl patch!
very special guest, Gold Award Alum and Miss Kansas USA, Alyssa Klinzing joined
in on the expo fun and helped Girl Scouts declare themselves a G.I.R.L. by
hosting a special photo op with future Gold Award Girl Scouts!
moderated the newest addition to Inspire a Girl, the Gold Award Alum panel with
Skylar Clark, Taylor Edwards and Jolly Patro. Girl Scout Juniors and older were
invited to hear from these outstanding women on all things Gold Award. From how
they got their project started to how it’s played a role in their future life
new this year, we celebrated our 2019 Volunteer Honorees in a special VIP
Lounge where they received their award and networked with other outstanding
volunteers! Every day our volunteers make fun, friendship, and awesome new
experiences possible for girls. They support our G.I.R.L.s (go-getter,
innovator, risk-taker, leader) every step of the way!
extraordinary day culminated with our Gold Award Ceremony where Girl Scouts
officially received their Gold Award Pin.
Gold Award Girl Scouts Taylor Edwards and Logan Rader were presented with the newest Girl Scout scholarship, The Spirit Scholarship. This scholarship was established by Gold Award & Lifetime Girl Scout Connie Ehrlich Davis, in memory of her parents. It is in the “spirit” of the Ehrlichs’ wisdom that this scholarship is awarded to girls who demonstrate academic excellence and uphold the highest ideals of Girl Scouting.
ceremony was keynoted by Missouri Senator and GSKSMO Board Member Lauren
Arthur, who shared her story on how to reach “From Green to Gold: How Leaders
are Born.” Senator Arthur shared her inspirational message to Girl Scouts
encouraged them to implement what they learn through Girl Scouts and continue to
be leaders and go-getters in their community.
Seuss so greatly said, “Congratulations, today is your day. You’re off to great
places! You’re off and away!”
The 5th Annual Cookie Construction Build Day is a
wrap! After six months of planning, practicing and preparing, seven Cookie
Construction teams comprised of 30 female design professionals and 100 Girl
Scouts descended upon Crown Center to finally bring their “Underwater
Adventure” builds to life on March 2. Each team was given an 8×8 space to build
their structures and after 4 ½ hours of build time, girls dropped the glue guns
and tape, stepped away and marveled in their completed builds!
Brr… Welcome to the icy waters at the ends of the Earth! You might think that due to the frigid temperatures and harsh conditions here that there isn’t a lot to do or much to explore, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! While there is a lot of fun happening above water, just like icebergs, there is even more to explore under the surface! Penguins, seals, whales, fish and even plants have found ways to make these icy waters their homes.
A Surprising Discovery By: Jaws Squad Mentor Firm: Hollis + Miller Architects
Our team wanted to
make a major statement with our build and focus on a few bold elements that
would catch the viewer’s attention. We were most inspired by underwater
discovery in movies, the goggles left by a scuba diver from the movie “Finding
Nemo” and the shocking and powerful shark from the movie “Jaws”. Through the
process of sketching and brainstorming as a team, we found that we could put a
creative spin on these two major elements. By playing with scale and creating a
lens for the viewer, the design is meant to make the viewer feel like they are
an underwater explorer making a surprising major discovery. In Girl Scouts and
in life, you never know what you might discover!TEAM PHOTO + BULD
Treasure Untold By: Let’s Get Kracken Mentor Firm: International Architects Atelier
Our team, Let’s Get
Kraken, decided to make “Treasure Untold:” a beautiful piece made of different
colors and types of cookie boxes. The piece shows a purple octopus opening a
treasure chest that has many items to represent treasure. Around the octopus
and treasure is colorful vibrant coral. On the bottom of our display are
shredded boxes to represent sand. The whole piece represents an underwater
exploration. The creators are showing how Girl Scouts all work together and how
we can come to an agreement. When you have teamwork, you can accomplish BIG
Shipwreck of the North By: Oops, I Inked! Mentor Firms: Midland Steel Company, Tompkins Architects, Ellison-Auxier Architects, River Bluff Architects
The Girl Scout Pirates
of the North had to deliver Girl Scout cookies to SpongeBob. They set out on a
stormy night. Then, lighting struck the side of the ship. The ship fell down to
the bottom of the sea, hit the rocks and broke in half. SpongeBob wanted his
cookies, so he decided to go on an adventure to find them. He hopped on a
turtle for a ride, but the turtle got stuck in seaweed. The turtle had to eat
the seaweed to make his way out. He then followed a school of fish to a
colorful coral reef. There, SpongeBob found part of the ship, but also saw a
shark guarding it! The turtle helped him out by distracting the shark.
SpongeBob ran into the ship and found a treasure chest. Inside he found the
cookies he had been searching for!T
A Window to the Sea By: Queens of Argentine Mentor Firm: BRR Architecture
Our build showcases a picture window to the ocean with all the unique creatures of the sea living in harmony. Our main structure implies the frame of a picture box with many different tiers featuring a wide variety of sea creatures swimming together through colorful underwater plant life. The structure is formed using a stair step method in order to achieve the highest visibility for all the creatures and to give them the illusion of floating through the water. The largest element of our build is the Girl Scout octopus who pushes the boundaries of her container, climbing out and fearlessly setting off to explore other worlds outside her own. Wearing her Girl Scout sash and her crown as a Queen of Argentine, she sets off to find new adventures and new friendships.
Mer-Catopolis By: Team MerCats Mentor Firms: Populous, All Tile CCS, Roth Living, Built Interiors
Our team invites you
to explore the depths of the ocean and the fantastic ruins of Mer-Catopolis.
This underwater world is home to mythical hybrid creatures named Mer-Cats.
Mer-Catopolis inspiration comes from ancient Greek and Roman architectural
elements such as ionic columns, arches, and monumental buildings. The city is
full of colors and textures that are derived from many types of coral and
algae. This lively environment and flora attract fish and sea life of different
varieties and sizes. The main square has a fountain displaying Poseidon’s
trident, where Mer-Cats gather to meet their friends. Everyone in Mer-Catopolis
feels happy and safe, as magical narwhals guard the doors to the city. These
guards protect the residents and the coveted treasure of the ocean, which hides
in a cave located at the edge of town. Welcome to Mer-Catopolis!
Life Lost By: Absolutely Remarkable Things Mentor Firms: Scott Rice Office Works, DLR Group, Treanor HL, Working Spaces
represents life lost by depicting an underwater plane crash as well as various
stages of sick coral reef. The plane is thought to have traveled around the
world exploring until it crashed in to the ocean, ending up on the ocean floor.
Shown are various forms of sea life and plants interacting with the crashed
plane and other depictions of past life are represented through other elements
such as the helmet. The dying coral is also thought to show past life because a
coral reef is a living organism that is an important part of the ocean
ecosystem. Throughout our research we discovered that we know more about parts
of space than we do about the ocean floor.T
While the panel of Jurors evaluated each build, 41 Action
News Meteorologist Lindsey Anderson emceed program and Master Lego Builder Joe Nunnink
entertained the audience by speed building a seahorse out of Legos!
A panel of Jurors evaluated each structure on creativity in design, structural design, use of colors/labels, craftsmanship and adherence to rules & regulations. While all the builds had incredible details, personality, and were creative in their own right, the MerCats were presented with the Juror’s Choice Award! They loved their unique interpretation of the theme, use of narrative and their demonstration of knowledge of the history of architecture. The MerCats created depth and vignettes utilizing ionic arches to frame the scene, and incorporated the 2019 Cookie Program Mascot into those arches!
Thank you to our Jurors, Nick Lawler, Meredith Stoll, Whitley
S. Fields, Andrew Pitts and Samantha McCloud and Amy Slattery!
This program wouldn’t be possible without the support and
dedication of our female design professionals in the Kansas City and St. Joseph
areas. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, expertise and time with our Girl
The awards aren’t done yet; you can still cast your ballot
for People’s Choice Award! Visit Crown Center and see these impressive builds yourself
and vote for your favorite structure through March 22!
The 2019 Cookie Construction Program is a partnership with
AIA Kansas City and made possible with the support of Crown Center, BRR
Architecture & McCownGordon Construction.
Whether you’re a Girl Scout alum, a current member, a dedicated volunteer, or you simply have an extraordinary Girl Scout in your life, you’re an important part of the Girl Scout family. And you know what families do together? Celebrate!
Girl Scout Week is definitely something to celebrate—seven straight days to show off your Girl Scout pride and lift up all that this worldwide sisterhood has given you, your community, and the world. Join us in treating each day from Sunday, March 10, through Saturday, March 16, as a day of action focused on a powerful yet simple way to get involved.
Sunday, March 10 Girl Scout Sunday is a special day dedicated to thinking about your beliefs and how they’re reflected in the Girl Scout Law.
Monday, March 11 STEM Day is the day we celebrate everything cool about science, technology, engineering & math. Try out one of our STEM activities or show us how you celebrate STEM.
Tuesday, March 12 It’s Girl Scouts’ 107th birthday! Learn about G.I.R.L.s (Go-getters, Innovators, Risk-takers, Leaders) who are Girl Scouts who changed or are changing the world.
Wednesday, March 13 Get out your green gear—it’s Girl Scout Spirit Day! Girls, wear that sash / vest or fave t-shirt. And adults, whether you sport a Girl Scout tee under a blazer at the office or rock a trefoil sweatshirt at the gym, let everyone know you’re a G.I.R.L. at heart.
Thursday, March 14 Daisy’s Circle Day! Philanthropy supports Girl Scouting across our 47 counties. If you are a member, wear your Daisy’s Circle pin and ask someone to join you as a member. If you’re new to Daisy’s Circle, consider joining this powerful circle on this special day of Standing Up for G.I.R.L.s! Friday, March 15 Take Action Day! Kick off the weekend by giving back to your community. Could the local park use a cleanup? Does the food bank need volunteers? As always, the best person for the job is a Girl Scout!
Saturday, March 16 Girl Scout Sabbath – Besides reflecting on your beliefs and how they’re echoed in the Girl Scout Law, we urge you to take some time this Girl Scout Sabbath to learn something new about someone else’s faith. So, are you with us? Ready to go green and shout your Girl Scout love from the rooftops? Follow along on Instagram,Twitter, and Facebook for more fun all week long. (Link to our social media)
If you’ve been to a show at the Kansas City Zoo, odds are you’ve seen Girl Scout Alum and Lifetime member, Allison Jones! This show stopping Girl Scout has found a way to blend performance art with science. Working both as a professional actress and as an Education Instructor at the Kansas City Zoo, Allison has found a way to incorporate two worlds in her career.
started Girl Scouts as a Girl Scout Daisy in St. Louis, MO and moved to Lee’s
Summit, MO in 2nd grade where she joined Troop 1609. “When we moved
to Kansas City, my Girl Scout experience shifted to being very service
oriented,” Allison said. As part of this focus on service, she earned her Silver
Award by leading a Toys for Tots collection drive.
Growing up in Girl Scouts, Allison learned a diverse set of skills, including how to use her voice and the magic of science. It started with a normal Girl Scout activity – being at camp. “I played outside as a kid, but there was something different about Girl Scout camp. Being around the woods and animals and water and mysterious things in the dirt was so inspiring for me,” Allison said. She went on to become a counselor, helping other girls learn about nature and science.
Girl Scout activity that inspired a love of science was a program called
“INVENTure University” where Girl Scouts were challenged to invent something.
“The program lasted a week and we stayed at Rockhurst University in the dorms. We
had a week to invent, build and present something. My invention was a peanut
butter jar you could open from both ends,” Allison said.
Scouts helped develop her love of science, it was a family trip to Sea World
where Allison saw trainers working with animals and knew that’s what she wanted
to do. From there, she went to the Alabama A&M University to study Biology.
While there, she got back to her Girl Scout roots by helping lead a local troop
during her junior year of college.
graduating, Allison has been working at the Kansas City Zoo and proudly
representing what it means to be a Girl Scout! In the past few years, she also
started her acting career and has been cast in professional shows around KC,
including lead roles in Once On This
Island with Spinning Tree Theatre and My
Fair Lady with Girl Scout Community Partner, Musical Theatre Heritage.
She’s currently performing in the Quartet in A Christmas Carol with the Kansas City Reparatory Theatre.
presenting for the Kansas City Zoo, Allison sees the biggest crossover of arts
skills in science. “Every animal has a story, so it’s fun when you can make
their story animated and fun for kids,” Allison said. On stage, Allison uses
her experience training animals to sometimes get co-stars to cooperate “as far
as science in the arts goes…positive reinforcement works for people too!” Allison
in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math) believes that it’s
important to have girls represented in the diverse fields of science. “Girls
need to understand that science is more than medical school, labs and
engineering. There are so many facets of science and we need diverse thinkers
to create science. We wouldn’t have the science we have now without diversity,”
One of the
things she loves most about presenting for the zoo and doing “talk backs”
(after performance Q&A opportunities with actors and the audience) is being
able to represent women of color in both arenas. Whether she’s the lead in a
musical or presenting an animal, it’s important to her that girls see
themselves represented in various careers.
Allison for showing what it means to be a versatile and talented G.I.R.L.!
Learn more about Girl Scout STEAM opportunities by visiting www.gsksmo.org!
Leadership in action – that’s what living a G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)TM life is all about. Meet Girl Scout Alum, former GSKSMO board member and member of Daisy’s Circle and the Juliette Gordon Low Society, Angela Bennett! This Girl Scout has been a leader in the KC community for years, serving on boards around the city, becoming the first black attorney at her law firm and as a Regional Director of the US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights. Now retired, Angela is dedicated to improving her community through volunteerism!
Angela Bennett was raised in Kansas City, MO and started Girl Scouts in second grade. She remembers her first overnight campout was at Camp Timberlake and from her 2nd year of Girl Scouts on, she attended Camp Oakledge, well into her high school years. At camp, Angela learned critical networking and relationship building skills that would help her in future careers.
“When I was at camp, I had the opportunity to meet new people. I met girls from other communities that I wasn’t always exposed to and that was a good experience,” Angela said. Attending camp in the mid-1960s meant Angela was sometimes faced with racial prejudice, but at camp, she found those stereotypes and prejudices changed by the end of resident camp more often than not. That’s the power of getting girls together in a common activity away from the city and societal pressures – they can learn about one another in a safe space.
Beyond camping, Angela learned business skills through the Cookie Program. Her leader, Connie, made a large impact on her life and helped motivate her to succeed in the Cookie Program. “Our living room would be filled with cookie boxes before we could deliver them,” Angela said. These skills translated into adulthood as Angela attended UMKC for undergrad and Law School!
After graduating law school, Angela Bennett worked in a variety of occupations, blazing trails along the way. She served in the County Council office, worked for the Missouri Attorney General in the Consumer Protection division, in Army Corp of Engineers and Lathrop Gage. “I went to law school because I wanted to help people. My parents and Girl Scouts instilled in me a strong sense of giving back, so that’s always been important in my career,” Angela said.
With that motivation to give back, Angela accepted a position as the Regional Director of the US Department of Education Office of Civil Rights and served in that role for 17 years before retiring in 2014. In this role she was able to make a major impact on the lives of children in the education system. She also served on the Board of Curators for University of Missouri system. When you talk about a Girl Scout giving back through life, Angela Bennett is a prime example of leadership in volunteerism!
Her devotion to Girl Scouts remained strong well into adulthood. She served on the GSKSMO Board of Directors in the early 1990s learned a lot about the organization. “Being on the Board was a good experience because I got to learn about the needs of the organization,” Angela said. She was also actively involved in the 75th Girl Scout anniversary celebration, working to find local Girl Scout alums to attend and bringing out memorabilia like her “lemy stick” and Girl Scout Brownie Book!
She has continued to invest in Girl Scouts because of the positive experiences she had as a girl and because she knows that it helps build girls for a better future. “Giving to Girl Scouts is one of the best ways to support girls as they grow to become contributing members of society,” Angela said.
Thank you to Angela Bennett for not only investing in girls, but for being a strong example of the type of woman Girl Scouts helps empower! Learn more about the Juliette Gordon Low Society and Daisy’s Circle to give back like Angela.
Man enough to lead a Service Unit! Meet Jason Sonderman, an exceptional Girl Scout dad who’s taken his leadership to the next level as Service Unit Manager for SU607. Growing in leadership just like his Girl Scout Junior daughter, Riley, Jason has gone from parent volunteer to Appreciation Pin honoree to Service Unit Manager and member of Daisy’s Circle! Talk about some serious G.I.R.L. dedication!
Jason started like most Girl Scout parents – new and unsure where volunteering would take him. When Riley was a Daisy, her mother, Micah, became the co-leader and Jason found himself picking up a variety of tasks. “It took 3-4 years for me to find my place in volunteering outside of building things and helping with carpools. Around Brownies I started finding a need in Day Camp and a place to help,” Jason said.
He found a love of working at Day Camp and started coming a couple days a week to help with the cooking program. With the guidance of fellow volunteers, he found his stride and started feeling confident in his leadership. “Working a Day Camp really opened my eyes to how parents can get involved,” Jason said. He served as unit leader for 2 years, then took over the cooking program.
To put a personal touch on his Day Camp leadership, he developed a persona named “Cookie.” “Cookie is larger than life and memorable,” Jason said. Together, Riley and Jason worked on the cooking program and as she grew as a leader, he felt pride and was even more motivated to be involved.
During cookie booth season, parents were talking about the Service Unit Manager position that was opening up. While there was a lot of interest, Jason joked about putting his hat in the ring and no one thought it was a joke, in fact, they thought it’d be great. “When no one laughed, I was surprised, but when we talked about it, it just made sense. I don’t lead a troop, so I don’t have other things vying for my attention, I can just focus on the service unit,” Jason said.
As a dad, he knows he’s in the minority as a male volunteer, but thinks that makes his service important so both genders are being represented in the organization. “Girl Scouts needs to see both genders represented as volunteers and in leadership to help them understand life outside as well as see both parents just giving back,” Jason said. Throughout all of it, the best part of giving back is being part of the Girl Scout world with Riley and Micah.
“Girl Scouts gives me something to do with my daughter and wife. I understand it, I can be engaged and participate rather than it just being their thing,” Jason said. He and Micah love the program because of the opportunities it provides for Riley.
Riley has developed her own way of expression, giving back and leadership through filming Day Camps and creating recruitment videos for them, as well as helping with the cooking program. “Girl Scouts is a full environment where girls can build a sisterhood and at the same time, learn things. They’re learning about life, leadership, and skills they’ll need to excel in our society and be respected,” Jason said.
The Sondermans not only give of their time, they give financially through Daisy’s Circle as well. “In our hearts, giving follows our faith and my wife and I have that extra amount to give to help someone be involved. We can help remove the barrier of maybe a $25 membership fee that might be preventing a girl from having this experience,” Jason said.
We thank the Sonderman family for giving so fully to Girl Scouts and believing in the power of all G.I.R.L.s. We are thrilled to see Riley grow her skills and become the best G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader) she can be! If you’d like to learn more about Daisy’s Circle, visit www.daisyscircle.org.
Thursday was the first official day of summer and camp season is well underway! As you prepare to get outdoors with your troop or family, you can impress them with your outdoor culinary skills using these recipes below!
Ingredients: BPA Free freezer bags
Omelet ingredients of your choice (pre-cooked sausage, bacon, ham, mushrooms, black olives, peppers, onions, tomatoes, etc.)
1 bag shredded cheese for every 6 people
Start a pot of boiling water large enough to hold at least 6 bags
Write names on freezer bags
Break two eggs into each freezer bag
Add ingredients of your choice
Seal and place in boiling water for 14-15 minutes
Carefully remove from water and let cool for a minute or two before emptying omelet onto a plate
Ingredients: ½ c. Oats per person
Toppings of your choice! (dried fruits, nuts, brown sugar, etc.)
Use a campfire tea kettle to boil water
Using a bowl, create your own oatmeal mix, using 1/2 oats per person, a pinch of salt and toppings of your choice.
Add 2 tbsp. – ¼ c. of boiling water to the oatmeal mix depending on how watery/sticky you want it and stir.
Pizza Fondue + French Bread Submitted by Lysette Deboard, SU716 Day Camp Director Serves: 12ish
2-3 lbs ground beef
2 c. mozzarella cheese
2 c. cheddar cheese
3-4 cans pizza sauce
4-5 loaves French bread
Make a hot fire an place a grate over it. Cover the outside bottom of a cooking pot with dish soap
Place the pot on the fire and brown the ground beef
While the beef is being prepared, have girls slice bread and prepare any other sides you may have (salad/veggies are great with this!)
Line a large bowl with several layers of paper towels. Pour the beef in the bowl and let the towels absorb the grease. Put the beef back into the pot and over the fire. Alternatively, you can drain the grease into a can.
Pour all pizza sauce in with the beef an let it simmer until heated. Cook 15 minutes or until hot.
Add cheeses to the pot and stir well until melted.
Remove from fire and serve a large scoop of “fondue” and two slices of bread to each person.
Walking Tacos Serves: 5+ Ingredients: Single-serving bag of Fritos for each person
1 lb. ground beef for every 5 girls/4 adults
Taco seasoning of your choice
Taco toppings of your choice (shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, pico, salsa, sour cream, avocado, black olives, onions, black/refried beans, etc.)
Using a campfire pan, cook meat with desired taco seasoning until brown
Remove pan from fire and set in a safe area
Have each girl open a bag of fritos and serve one spoonful of meat directly into the bag
Let each girl add her desired toppings & enjoy straight out of the bag!
Campfire Cobbler Submitted by Kelly Rogge, SU 618, Troop 1302 Serves: 12ish
Ingredients: 2 cans pie filling – your choice!
1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter or margarine
First you will want to put at least 25 charcoal briquettes in the campfire. While those are getting nice and hot, line your dutch oven with heavy-duty foil. Do not use the cheap, Dollar Store foil. Go for the Reynolds Heavy-duty brand. Double-line the dutch oven completely. Open two cans of pie filling and pour into the dutch oven. Pour one box of yellow cake mix on top of the filling, and spread evenly. Cut stick of butter or margarine into slices and place on top of the dry cake mix. Put the lid on the dutch oven.
Remove the briquettes carefully from the fire using tongs. Place five to six on the ground near the campfire. Place the dutch oven on top of the briquettes. Then place 10 to 12 briquettes on the lid. This will ensure even cooking. Cook cobbler for 25 to 45 minutes, depending on how hot the briquettes are.
Not-so-messy S’mores Submitted by Allie Steele, Troop 1006
Ingredients: Waffle Cones
Additional toppings of your choosing
Grab a cone and put in marshmallows, chocolate chips and whatever else you like (bananas, strawberries, caramel chips, peanut butter cups, etc)!
Wrap the stuffed cone in tin foil and place it on the fire for 5-10 minutes (depending on how melty you like it!)
Take off the fire and allow to cool
Unwrap the tinfoil and enjoy your not-so messy s’mores!
What are your go-to campfire meals?! Let us know in the comments below or share them on social media and tag us with #gsksmo!